January 22, 1910
REEDER PICTURE MOVED.
For Half a Century It Has Hung at
For the first time in several years the life-size oil painting of Andrew H. Reeder, the first governor of the territory of Kansas, which has graced the walls of the Coates house for half a century, was removed from its place in the lobby yesterday so that steamfitters could get at a defective pipe. The painting will be cleaned and re-hung in its old place.
The removal of the picture yesterday resulted in a flood of questions at Clerks Mong and Preston. Each told the story of the picture at least a score of times during the day and evening. The painting was made at the direction of Colonel Kersey Coates, the founder of the Coates house, from a photograph. The painting pictures Governor Reeder in flight.
It was back in 1856 that Governor Reeder had much trouble with the pro-slavery men and was forced to hide in Kansas City. He was a close friend of Colonel Kersey Coates, and Colonel Coates successfully hid the governor for two weeks at the Gillis house and other places about the city, finally furnishing him with a disguise in which he was able to escape as a deck passenger on the Missouri river steamer, the A. B. Chambers. When he arrived at St. Louis he had a photograph taken and sent it to Colonel Coates.
Labels: arts, boats, Coates house, Kersey Coates, Missouri river, photographs, St Louis
January 13, 1909
ICE FLOES WRECK
SHIPPING ON BLUE.
Pleasure Craft Smashed and
Swept Away by the
Great havoc among the shipping in the Blue river was wrought by a sudden break-up of ice on that stream yesterday afternoon. Several costly houseboats and launches were crushed, or their moorings snapped and carried away down the river. In all the damage amounts to several thousand dollars.
At the Kansas City Boat Club's moorings, Fifteenth street and Blue river, Harvey H. Espenship's thousand-dollar houseboat, fully furnished, was swept from its berth by the ice and carried down the river. Marion Bolinger, a boatman at Independence avenue and the Blue, saw it being carried by. It was crushed, and floating on his side. The boat contained several hundred dollars' worth of furniture, including a piano.
HOUSEBOAT AND LAUNCHES.
Mr. Espenship lost two launches, also the Iona I and the Iona II. These boats were valued at $600. both were carried down the Missouri river, one of them smashed in a jam of ice as it passed Independence avenue.
Bert Claflin of Centropolis lost a houseboat and a launch. More than twenty small boats were swept away or crushed in the ice at Fifteenth street.
Charles Demaree's houseboat and launch broke their cables. The houseboat was secured, but the launch was lost.
A lighter belonging to Harry Harris, son of Postmaster J. H. Harris, was crushed. Mr. Harris intended to build a house on the lighter next spring. A houseboat, the owner of which is not known, was crushed as it passed Independence avenue. The riven timbers were scattered among the ice cakes along the shore.
The rise in the river during the afternoon was more than seven feet. At 8:30 o'clock last night the river left its banks at Fifteenth street. Boat owners, alarmed by the residents along the river, hastened to the moorings and secured their craft with chains. the landing stage at the boathouse, Fifteenth street and the Blue, was carried away.
The ice was breaking slowly, or a great deal more damage would have resulted. The ice cakes, being thick and heavy, crushed the small craft as they ground against them. The Kansas City Canoe Club lost many small boats.
Labels: Blue river, boats, Centropolis, Fifteenth street, ice, Independence avenue, organizations
January 4, 1910
GOV. SPRY AT INDEPENDENCE.
Utah Party Returning From Christ-
ening of Battleship.
William H. Spry, governor of Utah, and his party, who have been to the christening of the battleship Utah, stopped yesterday at Independence and were guests at the luncheon of S. O. Benion of the Central States' mission of the Mormon church. In the party were Mrs. Spry and daughter, who had the honor of christening the Utah; Mr. and Mrs John C. Sharp, Judge and Mrs. Stewart, Mr. O. Gardner, president of the state senate of Utah, and Mrs. Bonnemort, who is known through the West as the "Sheep Queen."
Governor Spry was at one time president of the Southern States' mission of the Mormon church, the post now being held by S. O. Benion. During the afternoon the party made a call on Joseph Smith of the Reorganized church and were well pleased with their visit with the venerable prophet. The party left for Kansas City to take a fast train to the West.
Labels: boats, Independence, ministers, visitors
January 3, 1910
DAMAGE TO CHESTER SLIGHT.
Steamer Was Forced on River Bank
Officers of the Kansas City Transportation and Steamship Company received word yesterday that the steamer Chester had only been slightly damaged Friday night in the ice floe. It was reported that the boat had been crushed and thrown on the river bank. The boat has been pulled off the bank and floated. Outside a few broken lines the steamer appears uninjured.
Labels: boats, Steamboat Chester
December 2, 1909
BOOSTING RIVER NAVIGATION.
Meeting at Commercial Club Tomor-
row Night to Increase Interest.
A special meeting will be held in the Commercial Club rooms tomorrow night for the purpose of creating more interest in the project for improving the navigation of the Missouri river. No solicitations for funds will be made at the meeting.
Walter S. Dickey, president of the company which proposes to establish a boatline on the Missouri, will show 125 pictures of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, some of the pictures being moving scenes. Comparisons between the navigable Mississippi and the Missouri will be brought out, by which Mr. Dickey expects to show conclusively the possibilities of the Missouri.
Moving pictures of the Kansas City delegation going to New Orleans in the Gray Eagle, and the visits of President Taft and other notables will also be shown.
Labels: boats, Commercial Club, Missouri river, moving pictures
November 4, 1909
$1,000 FOR MISSOURI SONG.
Verses and Music, to Be Dedicated
to State, Will Be Decided Upon
by Governor and Committee.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO., Nov. 3. -- Governor Hadley wants a song dedicated to the state of Missouri that will be noted far and wide for its soul stirring melody, as well as its force of poetry descriptive of the past history of Missouri and the good things that are in store for the state.
During his trip down the Mississippi river with President Taft and party, he listened to songs dedicated to other states and became so impressed therewith that he induced Cyrus P. Walbridge, David R. Francis, Charles Huttig, James H. Smith and Harry B. Hawes, of St. Louis, to put up $50 each. The parties on the steamboat Alton, Gray Eagle and Wells each chipped in and raised $250.
This makes $1,000, which will be paid to the person or persons composing verses and music that will meet with the approval of the governor and a special committee composed of the following:
David R. Francis, Captain Henry King, managing editor of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; Henry N. Cary, general manager of the St. Louis Republic, Walter S. Dickey, of Kansas City, and Hal Gaylord, of The Kansas City Journal.
Only Missourians who can compose a beautiful song melody, with words telling of the past glories of Missouri and her future prospects need apply. In a few days the governor will write to the members of the committee, telling them his ideas in general terms regarding the kind of song that should be dedicated to this state.
Labels: boats, Herbert Hadley, music, President Taft, St Louis, The Journal
October 31, 1909
GREY EAGLE INJURED IN RACE.
Steamer Quincy Smashes Paddle
Wheel of Kansas City Boat.
NATCHEZ, MISS., Oct. 29. -- With Speaker Joe Cannon, two score congressmen and several senators leaning over the railing waving their hats and cheering like a crowd of college boys at a football game, the steamers Quincy and Grey Eagle of the Taft flotilla raced for more than a mile coming out of Vicksburg last night.
The contest ended when the Quincy crashed into the Grey Eagle, crushing the wheel. The damaged boat managed to make her way to Natchez, where carpenters made the necessary repairs.
The Grey Eagle is carrying the Kansas City, Mo., river boomers to the New Orleans convention.
When the boats crashed, passengers on both were hurled to the deck. No one was injured, however. The Quincy and Grey Eagle have been speed rivals during the entire trip.
Labels: accident, boats, President Taft
October 30, 1909
BACK FROM WORLD TRIP.
Kansas City Boy Went Around Globe
With U. S. Fleet.
Bronzed, athletic and clear-eyed Stanley Presbury, 21 years old, returned to Kansas City last evening after an absence of three years and three months in the United States navy, a fully developed man. He was met at the Union depot by his mother, Mrs. T. E. Presbury of the Hotel Moore. He will make his home in Kansas City.
Young Presbury was one of the lucky boys who enlisted from Kansas City several years ago to make the trip around the world. He was assigned to the Connecticut July 16, 1906, and was transferred to the Panther, in July, 1908, serving the balance of his time on that ship.
"I am glad to get back to old Kansas City. I was glad to leave it, and I had a trip such as few ever get," said young Presbury at the Hotel Moore last night, "but there was no place like home especially when it is Kansas City.
"There was only one country we all liked well and that was Australia. I guess it was because that country is populated with Anglo-Saxons like ourselves."
Labels: boats, hotels, military, Union depot
October 29, 1909
CAN'T KEEP UP WITH TAFT
Gray Eagle Passengers Temporarily
Board Unidentified Steamer.
HELENA, ARK., Oct. 28. -- The steamer Gray Eagle, of the fleet accompanying President Taft down the Mississippi, and which was run on a sandbar last night to prevent a possible conflagration, was not seriously delayed. Repairs to the boiler grates were made in an hour and the steamer set out after her sister craft. Her passengers, including several governors, were transferred to another steamer after the accident and later reboarded the Gray Eagle.
Labels: boats, President Taft
October 28, 1909
GRAY EAGLE BEACHED;
KANSAS CITIANS ABOARD.
Governors Donaghey of Arkansas
and Shallenberger of Nebraska,
Guests -- Fire Grate Bars Fell.
HELENA, ARK., Oct. 27. -- Because of a breakdown in the engine room and the attending danger of the steamer catching fire, the Gray Eagle, one of the fleet of boats accompanying President Taft to New Orleans, having aboard the Kansas City delegation with Governor Donaghey of Arkansas, Governor Shallenberger of Nebraska, Governor Prouty of Vermont, Senator Gore of Oklahoma and Senator Warner of Missouri as guests, was run aground ten miles north of Helena tonight to disembark its distinguished passengers in safety.
The breakdown followed the dropping of the grates in the fire room. The Gray Eagle had been chartered by the Kansas City delegation to the deep waterways convention and was boarded at Alton, Ill., Monday morning. The Gray Eagle is one of the best known boats in the St. Louis harbor. It is the property of the Eagle Packet Company, noted for its speedy boats.
At the time of the accident the boat was running at a speed of fifteen miles an hour. This is faster than the packers ordinarily run.
Labels: boats, conventions, New Orleans
October 25, 1909
OFF FOR TAFT RIVER TRIP.
Deep Waterways Cheered as Party of
Kansas City Men Leave for Alton
and St. Louis.
More than a half hundred prominent Kansas City men, comprising the delegation that is to go down the river on the steamboat Gray Eagle in the presidential party, departed last night over the Chicago & Alton railroad on a special train consisting of five sleepers and a baggage car for Alton, Ill., where they will arrive this morning.
Decorators who were sent to Alton in advance, reported last evening to Secretary Cledening of the Commercial Club that the boat will be one of the handsomest in appearance in the big fleet.
It was a merry party which met at the Union depot last evening and as the train pulled out cheer after cheer was heard for the deep waterways convention which will be held in New Orleans Saturday of this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week.
The delegates expect that President Taft will breakfast with them on their boat Tuesday morning either at Cape Girardeau, which will be the first stop after the fleet leaves St. Louis, or between the Cape and Cairo.
The Kansas Cityans will arrive in Alton this morning in time to board the Grey Eagle and be landed at the levee in St. Louis at 9 a. m. They will go to the Coliseum, where President Taft will speak at 11 a. m. The trip down the river will begin at 5 p. m.
Labels: boats, Commercial Club, Edwin Clendening, New Orleans, President Taft, railroad, St Louis, Union depot
October 24, 1909
FOR TAFT BOAT TRIP
KANSAS CITY DELEGATION
WILL LEAVE TONIGHT.
Will Travel to Alton on Four Spe-
cial Cars -- Decorations for the
"Gray Eagle" Sent
Imbued with the "Kansas City Spirit" and a determination to impress upon the big waterways convention at New Orleans the need of improving the Missouri river, the Kansas City delegation will leave for Alton, Ill., at 9 o'clock tonight on four special Pullman cars by way of the Chicago & Alton railway. Decorators were sent to Alton Friday night and by the time the Kansas City delegation arrives tomorrow morning the Gray Eagle, the boat on which the Kansas City delegation will ride, will be one of the gayest in the fleet. At least that was the declaration last night of E. M. Clendening, secretary of the Commercial Club, who has made all of the arrangements for the trip.
Yesterday it seemed very unlikely that President Taft would be able to accept the invitation of the Kansas City delegation to ride at least part of the way down the river on the Gray Eagle. More than a dozen telegrams were exchanged with the management of President Taft's itinerary, but late last night Secretary Clendening was informed that it would be practically impossible. He still hopes that the president will find time to visit the Kansas City boat and take breakfast on the steamer Tuesday morning.
LEAVE ST. LOUIS MONDAY.
The "Gray Eagle" will reach St. Louis at 9 o'clock Monday morning. President Taft will speak in the Coliseum at 11 o'clock. The party will embark at 4 o'clock in the afternoon for the great trip down the river. The fleet arrives at Cape Girardeau at 6 o'clock Tuesday morning, Cairo, Ill., at noon, and Hickman, Ky., at 4 o'clock. Memphis, Tenn., and Helena, Ark., will be the principal stops on Wednesday. Vicksburg will be the only stop of importance on Thursday with Natchez and Baton Rouge on Friday.
The fleet will arrive in New Orleans early Saturday morning and until the following Tuesday night there will be a continuous round of convention work and receptions in the southern city. Grand opera, addresses by the governors of the different states, inspection of the city, and attendance at the convention will take up about all of the time of the Kansas City delegation. The party will leave New Orleans at 6:20 o'clock Tuesday night.
Besides Secretary Clendening, members of the delegation of seventy include Jerome Twitchell, J. H. Neff, Hon. Edgar C. Ellis, C. S. Jobes, H. F. Lang, W. B. C. Brown, C. D. Carlisle, W. G. Mellier and Hon. W. P. Borland.
Labels: boats, Commercial Club, Congressman Borland, Congressman Ellis, conventions, Edwin Clendening, Missouri river, New Orleans, President Taft, railroad, St Louis
September 10, 1909
RETURN FROM EUROPEAN TRIP.
Mr. and Mrs. Walton Holmes, Jr.,
Only Got to London.
Mr. and Mrs. Walton Holmes, Jr., have returned from their European trip, which was terminated at London owing to the serious illness of Mrs. Holmes. Mrs. Holmes is well on the way to recovery.
"It had been planned to tour Europe, but the sickness of Mrs. Holmes terminated everything and our only anxiety was to get back home," said Mr. Holmes yesterday. Dr. J. F. Binney was called from Kansas City to attend Mrs. Holmes.
While on the way over on the Cunarder Mauretania, Dr. Binney was called, with a Dr. McArthur of Chicago and the ship's surgeon, to perform an operation for appendicitis upon a boy on the ship. The patient has recovered. Mrs. W. H. Holmes, Sr., who was a member of the party, has not yet returned from Europe.
Labels: boats, Chicago, doctors, England, illness
September 1, 1909
VISITED ADMIRAL SEBREE.
Brother of Naval Commander Back
From Pacific Coast.
Frank P. Sebree is home from the Pacific coast, where he went to pay a visit to his brother, the admiral. Admiral Uriel Sebree is assembling a fleet of seventeen ships to make a cruise across Japan prior to his retiring under the age limit next February. The admiral and eight ships under him just now are among the most conspicuous attractions at Seattle.
"The grandest sight I saw was that fleet," said Mr. Sebree yesterday, "and the oddest was the salmon. The salmon is about the oddest fish they meet anywhere. It is born in fresh water and remains inland till it is two or three inches long. Then it goes to sea and remains away four years. N o salmon, save for a few strays, go back to the fresh waters during the second or third year, but the fourth year the whole school has a homecoming, and it comes all at once. The story they told me is that the salmon comes back home to spawn and to remain till it dies. The canners watch for the homecoming and set their nets. I saw one net, thirty-five feet each way, top side and bottom, so full of fish that it did not seem to me they could get any more in it. The estimate was 60,000 salmon in that net. I think they must have weighed about five to seven pounds easy.
"Where the salmon spends its time during those four long years it is absent, what it feeds on or how it knows to come back is all mystery. The fish are all fat and yet they have scarcely any place in their 'innards' to put food, if they eat any."
Labels: boats, military
August 29, 1909
KISHONGA, CHIEF OF
VISITS KANSAS CITY PADDLE
AND CAMP CLUB.
Leads Procession of Canoes and
Grand March at Club House
Then Disappears for
With searchlights along the bank of the Blue trained upon him, Kishonga, ancient chief of the Chewatas, from the land of the Illini, returned to the land of the living for a brief sojourn last night. Clad in aboriginal dress, the old chief, in his canoe, headed a procession of twenty-six other similar water craft with modern decorations and pyrotechnical effect.
Lanterns and flanbeaux lighted up the whole procession, while green and red lights on each shore illuminated the river to a weird brilliancy. All the canoes were towed by the launch Ferro from Camp Bughouse, about a quarter of a mile above the bridge, to the clubhouse of the Paddle and Camp Club, just below it, and then back again to the camp.
In true Indian fashion, Chief Kishonga was on his knees in the canoe and everything that an orthodox Indian ought to wear, he wore. His faithful valets had seen to that, for they had gone to the costumer's and bought all in the way of aboriginal dress that looked good to them. His outfit was capped with a huge war bonnet that bristled savagely above his head and trailed down his sinewy back.
THE BIG CHIEF LED.
Upon returning to the camp, the string of canoes cut loose and reassembled in front of the clubhouse below the bridge again. With proud mien, Kishonga set his moccasined foot on the wharf and walked up the steps into the clubhouse where the grand march was declared on. The big chief led it.
When the merriment was high, there came a sudden interruption. The voice of the Great Spirit was heard -- that is, bombs were set off outside and the drummer in the orchestra rolled his sticks on the tense sheepskin. Then there was a blinding flash. It marked the supernatural translation of Kishonga from the chlubhouse to the wharf where he was seen to re-enter his canoe. Down the river he paddled and disappeared around the first bend, not to be seen again until this time next year.
BLACK BEANS AND WHITE.
Although it was 200 years since he incurred the wrath of Gitchie Manitou, and was sent to the Happy Hunting Grounds for his pains, Kishonga didn't have much to say during his brief reincarnation.
Fred B. Schnell, E. E. Branch and Frank A. Missman, constituting the regatta committee of the Paddle and Camp club, were the only ones who were supposed to be accomplished in the language of the chief, and they said he didn't say much. What he did say, however, was brief and to the point.
No one is supposed to know whom impersonated Kishonga. Two black beans and one white one were presented to the three committeemen to draw from . The one who drew the white one was to have the appointment of the chief, but was sworn to secrecy. Thus the mystery was sustained. At noon yesterday the chief was taken in an automobile downtown and given the freedom of the city. About 100 couples danced last night at the club-house after Kishonga had vanished for another year.
Labels: Blue river, boats, Native Americans, organizations, parades
August 28, 1909
DOWN THE RIVER WITH TAFT. Steamboat Chester Will Carry Kan-
sas Cityans to New Orleans.
At a meeting held yesterday afternoon the directors of the Commercial Club enthusiastically accepted the invitation from St. Louis to send a steamboat representing Kansas City with the flotilla which will escort President Taft down the Mississippi river from St. Louis to the big waterways convention at New Orleans in October. Secretary E. M. Clendening was instructed to send notification of Kansas City's acceptance and to ask that the Kansas City boat be assigned a good place in the formation of the down-river fleet.
The steamboat Chester will carry the Kansas Cityans to New Orleans. It is the intention to begin the trip at the home dock, make stops at the towns down the Missouri river as far as Jefferson City and join the flotilla at St. Louis. This scheme, it is thought, is preferable to making the start at St. Louis and besides it will afford the Kansas Cityans an excellent opportunity to campaign for river improvement at Lexington, Glasgow, Boonville, Jefferson City and the other towns down the Missouri between here and the state capital.
The Chester has capacity for sixty passengers, and from the way applications for berths are coming in it is probable that they will be engaged long before the trip is to be taken. A band will be on board the boat, which will be gaily decorated. H. G. Wilson, transportation commissioner of the Commercial Club, will be in charge of the arrangements.
The boat will probably leave Kansas City on the afternoon of October 21, will reach St. Louis October 25 and will arrive at New Orleans October 31. It will be used as a floating hotel for the Kansas Cityans while at St. Louis and New Orleans.
Labels: boats, Commercial Club, conventions, Jefferson City, Lexington, Missouri river, New Orleans, President Taft, St Louis, Steamboat Chester
July 18, 1909
ANOTHER BOY IS DROWNED.
Charles Pearson Fell From Raft in
Pool of Backwater.
Charles Pearson, 13 years old, son of C. H. Pearson, a stone mason of 2929 Hallock avenue, Kansas City, Kas., was drowned yesterday in a pool of water formed by back waters from the Missouri river at the foot of Fifth street in Kansas City, Kas. Pearson, unknown to his parents, went with a party of boys to the river yesterday afternoon about 3 o'clock. The boys found a deserted skiff in a pool of back water, and using boards as paddles rowed around in it for awhile. Later young Pearson with Frank Decker and Ridge Kirkham, his playmates, climbed aboard an old raft. While playing on the raft the boy lost his balance and fell into the water. Doctors R. E. Barker and Mortimer Marder rendered emergency treatment but could not revive him. The body was taken to Fairweather & Barker's morgue where it was viewed by Coroner J. A. Davis. The drowned boy was a student at the Longfellow school. Funeral arrangements have not been made.
Labels: boats, children, drowning, Kansas City Kas, Missouri river, undertakers
July 10, 1909
WILL CRUISE 2,000
MILES IN MOTOR BOAT.
DR. G. L. HENDERSON AND WIFE
PLAN SUMMER OUTING.
The "Wave" to Leave Kansas City
When River Is Free of Drift.
St. Louis and Chicago the
A cruise on the "Wave," Kansas City's most pretentious motor boat, of almost 2,000 miles, is about to be undertaken by its owner, Dr. G. L. Henderson, who will be accompanied by his wife. The cruise has for its objective points St. Louis and Chicago, but the side trips which will be taken between these places will swell the mileage until it will probably go above the expected 2,000 miles. Dr. Henderson will depart early next week, or as soon as the river is free from the masses of drift, due to the high water. His boat, which has been wintered on the banks of the Kaw, was moved to the Missouri just below the Power Boat Club landing yesterday. The finishing touches are being given it and stores are being placed on board.
The Wave is sixty feet in length and fifteen feet beam. It is built on the steamboat, or sternwheel model, and is very light draft. Its engine, a four cylinder, slow speed model, develops about seventy-five horse power, which is transmitted through a shaft and bevel gearing to a jack shaft and by chains to the wheel. The boat is electrically lighted, a perfect system of storage batteries having been installed recently. A large high power searchlight is a part of the equipment. The main cabin is roomy and is occupied by the owner. A fully equipped bathroom opens from one end.
The galley is in the forward end of the boat, and the crew's quarters in the rear. There is no pilot house, the entire front part of the upper deck being open, but covered with a standing canopy. The gasoline tank has a capacity of 300 gallons, of which the engine consumes four gallons an hour when running. A large refrigerator is let into the bow.
The crew which will take the boat on the cruise will be made up of P. Philip, engineer, and Ray Miller, assistant. Pilot "Art" Bolen will take the boat to St. Louis and it is probable that Dr. Henderson will take the wheel from there himself as the Mississippi and Illinois rivers are well "lighted."
Labels: boats, Chicago, doctors, Kaw river, Missouri river, St Louis
June 27, 1909
BOY DROWNS IN THE BLUE.
Fell From a Skiff and Came Up Be-
neath a Barge.
John Palmer, 14 years old, fell from a skiff into the Blue river near the Independence road yesterday morning and was drowned. Marion Bullinger, proprietor of boathouse at that point, and several others saw the boy fall over the side of the skiff, which was near a barge anchored close to the bridge. The body did not rise again until the barge was moved, when the body was found beneath it.
The boy and his father room at the home of Jack Thomas, 415 Douglas avenue. Until recently he had been working at the Kansas City Nut and Bolt factory at Sheffield. Deputy Coroner Harry Czarlinsky viewed the body and had it sent to Blackburn & Carson's undertaking rooms.
Labels: Blue river, boats, children, Dr Czarlinsky, drowning, sheffield, undertakers
June 7, 1909
SWIMMING RACE AT PARK.
Two-Mile and Half-Mile Contests
in Fairmount Lake.
Several thousand persons lined the banks of the lake at Fairmount park yesterday afternoon to watch the boat races and swimming races that were a part of the park's free attractions for the day. And while these thousands were watching these attractions, a few more thousands were seeing the vaudeville show, and others were keeping the concession men and ticket sellers busy.
Sunshine, a rising temperature and the knowledge that no rain was in sight -- that was the reason for the crowd.
There were boat races of a half-mile, a mile and a mile and a half. Then the big event, a race of two miles, was pulled off. It was between William McPike of Warrensburg and C. L. Gardner of Hannibal, Mo. As the contestants fought for the first place the crowd on the bank cheered and picked winners. After several spurts, Gardner finally won the race. A swimming race of one half mile was also one of the interesting events. It was between J. J. Williams and F. R. Polland of this city. Polland won.
The vaudeville show yesterday afternoon was entertaining. The bill included Huffell and Huffell, singers and dancers, McLane and Simpson, comedians and Arthur Browning, a dancer.
Zimmerscheid's orchestra gave two concerts, one in the afternoon and one at night.
Labels: amusement, boats, fairmount park, music, races, swimming, vaudeville
May 26, 1909
WROTE 275 LETTERS TO WIFE.
Urging Her to Come Back, So Di-
vorce Was Denied Sheridan.
Andrew Jackson Sheridan, 65 years old, was yesterday denied a divorce from Louisa M. Sheridan, from whom he has been separated eight years. Mr. Sheridan, who lives in the house boat Mable, moored at the foot of Minnesota avenue, on the Kaw river, brought the suit before Judge E. L. Fischer of the Wyandotte county district court. The reason why he could not procure legal separation from Mrs. Sheridan was because he was found to think too much of her. Disaster came to his plans when lawyers for the defense produced in evidence 275 letters to the defendant, urging her to come back and live with him.
The plaintiff has lived in the house boat on the Kaw over three years and his face is brown from the reflection of the river. Mrs. Sheridan lives with her son in Toledo, O. Depositions from her were read in court. All of the 275 letters which Sheridan has addressed to his wife in the past year are affectionate and urge her to come live in his boat. In different places he alludes to her as being made up of parts of the pig, oyster and chicken. In one letter he promises to give her treatment to make her a "perfect human like myself."
Judge Fischer believed that a man who could give so much free advice to his wife and sign himself her loving husband did not badly want a divorce.
Labels: boats, Divorce, Judges, Kaw river, marriage, Minnesota avenue
May 10, 1909
300 BEGAN TO PRAY
WHEN BOAT WOBBLED.
EXCURSIONISTS THOUGHT THE
UNCLE SAM WAS A "GONER."
Hot Chains Broke and Panic on
Deck Followed -- Craft Righted
Herself and No One
Prayers were offered up yesterday afternoon by several hundred persons whose lips possibly have not breathed a prayer since many a day and only impending disaster to the good ship Uncle Sam could possibly have brought about such a condition. For several minutes 200 passengers aboard the excursion steamer were fearful of being plunged into the cool waters of the Big Muddy.
An accident to the boat just as it was preparing to leave the wharf at the foot of Main street for a pleasure trip down the river caused considerable consternation among the passengers and was responsible for the non-departure of the craft. It was the second Sunday that the boat was in the excursion trade, and although the day was raw and uncomfortable, about 300 persons desirous of lifting the intolerable lid had paid their little pittance and were impatient for the leaving.
HOG CHAINS BREAK.
Commands had been given by the mate to cast off the lines when one of the main hog chains, supporting the hurricane deck, snapped in two with a thunderous report. The hog chain is an iron rod three inches in circumference and was on the side of the boat next to the bank. When it broke the crowd rushed to that side, which careened the boat to a dangerous angle and threatened to pitch at least a part of the crew and passengers into the water. Hurried orders from the officers called part of the throng to the opposite side of the craft and the boat righted itself.
While the danger was over the excitement among the men and women did not wane, and the more timorous refused to be quieted and insisted on getting off the boat. The people jammed to the forward part of the deck in a wild endeavor to cross the gang plank, but those in the rear became so frantic that their pushing and shoving wedged the leaders in such a manner that they could not get across. Captain E. Baughman finally succeeded in gaining the gang plank and handed a quarter to every passenger. He got all of those aboard the Uncle Sam off in safety.
BOAT WILL BE LAID UP.
The accident which occurred about 3 o'clock, did not damage the boat outside of the breaking of the one rod. It will require several days to replace the hog chain and the boat will be tied up for that length of time.
The Uncle Sam excursion boat was brought here this spring to take the place of the Glenmore, which furnished the means of river excursions last summer. Previous to being brought to Kansas City the Uncle Sam was in the excursion business on the Mississippi river, with headquarters in Quincy, Ill. Hannibal, Mo., and Keokuk, Ia., were the other ports from which the boat drew business.
Labels: accident, boats, Main street
April 26, 1909
HE'S PREPARED FOR A FLOOD.
Croatian Builds House to Float
If there is a flood in the West Bottoms this year one householder there at least will be prepared to resist it.
He is one of the Croatians squatting on the "made" land near the Missouri river bank and his handiwork can be plainly seen from the street cars crossing the intercity viaduct. It consists of a crude but large houseboat resting upon piles six feet high driven firmly into the ground. The bottom of the boat is not fastened to the posts, so if a flood comes it will float clear but will be retained in the vicinity by means of an anchor and a stout rope.
Labels: boats, Croatians, flood, immigrants, Missouri river, West bottoms
April 16, 1909
HE'S A WIRELESS OPERATOR.
Paul Betheman of the Connecticut
a Kansas City Boy.
The honor of being the wireless operator on the flagship Connecticut in the great fleet's cruise around the world belongs to a Kansas City boy, Paul Betheman, of 1521 Troost avenue. Young Betheman has been in Kansas City on a two-weeks furlough, visiting his mother, Mrs. Lena Betheman, but returns to Brooklyn today to join his ship.
Betheman is 24 years old and joined the navy at the time of the telegraphers' strike in 1907. His knowledge of telegraphy was invaluable and he was at once put in charge of the instrument on the battleship.
All of the orders to the different ships in the fleet were sent through Betheman. At present, he is one of the few operators who is glad that the telegraph strike took place.
Labels: boats, military, telegraph, Troost avenue
March 15, 1909
FISHERMAN KILLS MATE.
Contents of a Shotgun Emptied Into
George Fields by Al Bartley,
an Old Man.
A quarrel over some fish nets between two denizens of the floating houseboat village moored along the Kaw river resulted yesterday afternoon in the fatal shooting of George Fields, a young boatman, 24 years of age, by Al Bartley, a grotesque character about 50 years old, familiar to the streets of Kansas City, Kas. He is afflicted with St. Vitus' dance. A double-barreled shotgun was Bartley's weapon and he fired both loads, which took effect in Fields's neck and face.
The younger man was still alive when the ambulance arrived, but died before a surgeon could be reached.
The killing took place at 5:30 o'clock. Both men owned and lived in houseboats at the foot of Minnesota avenue.
As there were no witnesses to the shooting, Bartley's version is the only one to be had. He claims that he and Fields had quarrelled about the nets for several days and that late in the afternoon Fields walked along the bank to a place opposite Bartley's boat, where the nets were and threatened to cut them with the sharp blade of a shovel in which he carried.
Bartley then went into his cabin and got his gun, telling Fields he would shoot him if he damaged the nets. Then he walked out on a plank reaching from the deck of his boat to the shore and Fields advanced to meet him, this time threatening to use the shovel on him instead of the nets. Bartley then fired the two loads, both of which took deadly effect.
Bartley is in custody. He is married and has a large family. Fields was a single man.
Labels: boats, guns, Kansas City Kas, Kaw river, Minnesota avenue, murder
March 7, 1909
EXCURSION BOAT DAMAGED.
Steamer Glenmore Has Troubles Other
Gay summer may have to pass without assistance from the good ship Glenmore, which plied from the foot of Main street up and down stream and back again in former years, carrying persons who loved boisterous amusement. Owned by Booth Baughman, well known to followers of games of chance, the boat had been undergoing repairs on the Clay county bank.
At first the boat had been passed by government inspectors, but later it was condemned. To make the required repairs it was beached and the superstructure shoved up while the hull was being patched. Yesterday the river sneaked in and washed the supports away, dropping decks, superstructure and perhaps one engine into the water. The loss is estimated at $5,000. Repairs to the hull were to cost the same amount.
One of the Wallace grand juries returned several indictments last fall in connection with the gambling which was said to have been carried on during the boat's cruises.
Labels: boats, gambling, Judge Wallace, Main street
January 21, 1909
FANATIC RIOTER TO TEXAS.
Mrs. Della Pratt has Gone to Live
on a Farm.
Mrs. Della Pratt, a member of the band of fanatics who participated in the city hall riot, December 8, is on the way to Texas. Had legal obstacles not interposed, the charge of murder now pending against her would have been dismissed yesterday in the criminal court. But it was found that this was not advisable.
At the time of the riot, Mrs. Pratt was in a houseboat in the Missouri river. She was later captured in a skiff, after being fired upon by police, whose bullets killed her young daughter, in the boat with Mrs. Pratt. For some time she has been out on a bond of $3,000, although it has never been the intention of the state to press a charge against her.
Yesterday it had practically been decided to release Mrs. Pratt, but it was found that the state could not compel her attendance as a witness at the trials of James Sharp and Mrs. Sharp, leaders of the band, unless she was under bond. Had the charge been dismissed she could not have been brought to Missouri to testify once she had left the state. For that reason the charge still stands against her, but the bond is now $500. Thomas M. Pratt, her brother-in-law, is surety. The Pratt children are already in Texas. Their mother will join them on a farm near Sherman, where relatives live.
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, criminal court, Missouri river, Texas
December 13, 1908
MUST BE MAILED TODAY.
Christmas Presents Intended for the
This is the last day for posting presents for the British Isles and the eastern part of the European continent, if they are to be delivered before Christmas day. Packages should be in the general postoffice not later than 5 o'clock this afternoon, and marked, "per Lusitania," if they are to get across the Atlantic in proper time. The Lusitania will sail at 6:30 Wednesday morning from Ne York, and will land her mails on the other side about Sunday night or Monday morning following. This gives about four days for the land journey.
Labels: boats, holidays, post office
December 12, 1908
FOUR MUST FACE
Religious Fanatics Are Ar-
raigned for their crimes.
Murder in the first degree is the charge that four members of the religious fanatics who shot and killed two policemen and a citizen during a riot Tuesday afternoon
, will have to answer in the criminal court. Late yesterday afternoon James Sharp
, Melissa Sharp
, Della Pratt
and William Engnell were taken before Justice of the Peace Theodore Remley and arraigned.
Youth Charged with Complicty in Police Murders Last Tuesday. He Was in the Houseboat With Mrs. Pratt When Lulu Was Killed. He Was Armed With Two Revolvers.
The four prisoners were driven to the justice court in a police ambulance, guarded by twelve policemen. They were later taken to the county jail, where they will be held until they are tried.
After taking the statement of James Sharp, the leader of the band, the prosecuting attorney decided to hold the four on a charge of murder in the first degree, and place the children of Mrs. Pratt under control of the juvenile court. Edward Fish will be held by the police as a witness. He was not arraigned because the other members said he was not of the same faith, but was simply drifting down the river with them.
Submissive and remorseful, James Sharp made a statement yesterday that is wonderful for its sensational admissions. Sharp not only lost faith in his religion, but in his powers of leadership.
The onetime gambler who won hundreds of dollars by showing a bad temper during poker games, is now a tame and submissive man, remorseful and sorry for his last actions, and who expects to be killed for his crimes.
WILL HE RISE? DOUBTFUL.
The once powerful leader of the religious sect still hangs to a faint ray of hope that he is not entirely wrong. Expecting to die for his murderous assault upon the police, Sharp has retained some hold upon the belief that when he is killed he will again appear upon earth. But he is growing doubtful of that.
Not so with the poor family of Pratt children, whom he led into so much trouble. All of them have given him up, and his teacher. Their desire now is for the future. Education and the pleasant days of school life is the bright spot in their future. Mary, the brightest one of the family, told her mother yesterday morning that if they had gone to school they would not have been led astray by Sharp.
After taking counsel with her four children, Mrs. Della Pratt yesterday morning asked to be taken to her daughter, Lulu, who had been killed
. The police sent the entire family to the undertaker's in a carriage. Kneeling beside the coffin of Lulu, Mrs. Pratt prayed for forgiveness until she was lifted up and taken away by attendants.
The little brothers and sisters
broke down and cried. Neither wife nor children were much affected at the sight of Pratt's body.
NO CHARGE AGAINST THEM.
The children will not have to answer to any criminal charge. Even Lena Pratt
, the girl who shot Sergeant Patrick Clark
, will not have to answer for her deed to the criminal authorities. Like her sisters and brother she will be taken care of by the juvenile court.
"Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction," was printed on slips of paper found yesterday in the houseboat formerly used by the Sharps and Pratts. Mrs. Pratt said yesterday afternoon, when shown the paper, that she believed her way led to destruction.
The men and women of the sect were separated by the police and have not been allowed to talk to each other. When placed in the patrol wagon yesterday afternoon to be taken to the justice court was the first time they had been together since their arrest.
The four prisoners were first brought together in the lobby of the station. An officer attended each prisoner, and no attempt was made of any of them to speak to the others while in the station. Mrs. Pratt did not even look at the leader, but cast an appealing glance at Mrs. Sharp.
"I wish I had never heard of Sharp," Mrs. Pratt said yesterday. "But he was mighty gentle with us all and treated everyone with consideration," she added.
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, children, criminal court, jail, Judge Remley, ministers, murder, undertakers, women
December 9, 1908
BULLETS KILL TWO AND WOUND FIVE IN FIERCE BATTLE BETWEEN POLICE AND BAND OF RELIGIOUS FANATICS
FIGHT BEGAN IN FRONT OF CENTRAL POLICE STATION AND ENDED AT MISSOURI RIVER BANK.
MAN AND GIRL AMONG DEAD
YOUNG GIRL, MEMBER OF THE BAND,
PIERCED BY BULLETS AFTER FLEE-
ING TO THE RIVER.
Three Policemen Wounded.
Tent on Missouri River Flat Boat Where the Women and Children Members of the Religious Fanatics Took Refuge.
-- Shot through the breast, abdomen and thigh.
LULU Pratt, 14 years old, fanatic
-- Shot through the right chest and cut through right eye and upper lip with dagger. Taken to St. Joseph's hospital; dangerous.
-- Shot in the right chest, right kidney and left hand. Taken to St. Joseph's hospital; dangerous.
-- Shot in forehead. Right ankle crushed and shot in calf of same leg. Leg amputated at general hospital later.
J. J. Sulzer, retired farmer living at 2414 Benton boulevard
-- Shot in right hip, also in right chest. Latter bullet glanced and severed the spine. Paralyzed from shoulders down. Taken to University hospital; will die.
Lieutenant Harry E. Stege
-- Shot through left arm. Ball passed along his chest from right to left, grazing the skin, taking piece out of arm. Went back into fight.
In a battle between police and religious fanatics which began at Fourth and Main streets at 3:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon and ended at the Missouri river bank, two persons were killed and five were injured. The trouble came about through the police trying to break up a religious street meeting, at which revolvers and knives were carried by the exhorters.
Just a few minutes before the tragedy occurred George M. Holt, a probation officer, found Mrs. Melissa Sharp, Mrs. Della Pratt and the latter's five children singing near Fifth and Main streets. He asked why the children were not in school, and was answered with an insult.
"Do you belong here?" he asked of one of the women.
"No, we have a house boat on the river," she replied.
The fanatics, after a collection amounting to about $3 or $4 had been made, started north on Main street with Mr. Holt following. They went into what is known as the Poor Man's mission, 309 Main street, conducted by J. C. Creighton and wife. Mr. Holt then approached J. A. Sharp, husband of one of the women, and addressed him and Louis Pratt, the other's husband.
"I am the father of Jesus Christ," said Sharp. "I have been sent to reorganize the world. You are no more than damned sheep. Get out of here. I am going to preach with my children right in front of that police station. You'll see what they'll do to me. Get out!"
With that Sharp drew a big revolver and struck Mr. Holt over the head. He left the "mission" with the fanatics following, all of them but two having revolvers, Sharp with both revolvers and knives. The fanatics consisted then of Mr. and Mrs. Sharp, Mr. and Mrs. Pratt and the latter's children, Lulu, 14, Lena, 12, Mary, 11, Dewey, 8, and Edna, 4 years old.
While Mr. Holt hurried into police headquarters, his head bleeding, the fanatics ranged along the curb in front of John Blanchon's saloon, 400 Main street, and the men began to flourish revolvers and knives and talk in wild tones about what God had commanded them to do. While all this was going on Patrolman Dalbow, who was sent from the station to see what the trouble was, walked up to James Sharp, who styles himself as "Adam God." Witnesses say that Dalbow spoke kindly to the man and told him he must cease, as a crowd was gathering.
"I'LL SHOOT THE SERGEANT."
"Do you come as a friend, brother?" Sharp asked.
"Yes," replied the officer," the sergeant wants to see you.
"I am going over and shoot the sergeant," said Sharp, his wrath rising again.
Just at that juncture Lieutenant Harry E. Stege, who had followed Dalbow out of the station, arrived on the scene and said to Sharp, "Drop that knife," at the same time drawing a revolver and pointing it at Sharp.
Then the trouble began in real earnest. Louis Pratt, who, up to that time had stood mute by the curb, a little in the rear and to one side of Sharp, raised a revolver which he was carrying in his hand and shot at Lieutenant Stege.
LOUIS PRATT. Religious Fanatic, Whose Leg Was Shot Off in Fight With Police.
The ball tore through Stege's clothing form the right to the left side along the chest, taking a chunk out of the left arm. Stege retreated, shooting, and a general fusillade was opened on the police. Pratt shot Dalbow through the chest, just as he was drawing his revolver, and one of the women, Mrs. Sharp, witnesses say, shot him in the back as he retreated.
DIES IN EMERGENCY.
Dalbow staggered across the street south to the door of the emergency hospital. As he pushed open the door his revolver fell from his hand. "I am shot bad," he said to Dr. R. N. Coffey. The officer caught him and carried him to a cot in the hospital. He died in a few minutes without regaining consciousness.
The shooting by that time had attracted the attention of all the officers in police headquarters. Sergeant Patrick Clark, in his shirt sleeves and unarmed, went out and into the thickest of the fray. The big leader, Sharp, was tackled by the sergeant and, though the latter was armed with both a knife and a revolver, the sergeant went after him with his fists. Clark was stabbed twice in the face and as he turned, was shot through the shoulder.
Captain Walter Whitsett, Inspector Charles Ryan, Detective Edward Boyle and others went into the street, emptied their revolvers and returned for more ammunition.
The gamest fight against the greatest odds was made by Patrolman Mullane, who ran down Fourth street from Delaware street just in time to meet the enraged fanatics fighting their way toward him. Louis Pratt, Mrs. Sharp and Lulu, the oldest Pratt girl, all attacked him, paying little heed to the shots of others. He at that time was the only policeman in uniform in range. Mullane would shoot at Pratt and when the woman and girl would walk right up to him and shoot at him, the big Irishman, realizing that they were only women, only clubbed his gun and struck at them.
The three-cornered fight lasted until Mullane's gun was empty and they had him cornered behind a small wagon on the north side of Fourth street. While he was attempting to get at Pratt the woman and girl pumped shots into him from the rear. He soon followed Sergeant Clark into the station, where both men fell to the floor. Doctors attended them there. They were later removed to the emergency hospital, their wounds dressed, and sent to St. Joseph's.
SPECTATOR IS SHOT.
While there were no fewer than 500 spectators in the crowd when the shooting began, only one was shot. That was J. J. Sulzer, 2414 Benton boulevard, a retired farmer. He was an onlooker and was hit by two bullets, the fanatics evidently taking him for an enemy. He was shot in the right hip first and almost immediately afterwards in the right chest. That ball ranged in such a manner that the spinal cord was severed. Mr. Sulzer dropped on the car tracks in front of city hall. He was treated at the emergency and sent to the University hospital. The doctors think he cannot live, as he is paralyzed from the shoulders down.
SHARP, RINGLEADER, ESCAPED.
There was not a moment while the fight was on that the police could not have killed all of the women and children, but they refrained from doing so. Seeming to realize the fact, the women and older Pratt girls -- Mary, Lena and Lulu -- constantly gathered around the two men who were doing most of the shooting. The women and girls would circle about the men, thereby blanketing the fire of the police, and would then fire point blank at the officers themselves.
Among the fanatics, Pratt and Mrs. Sharp made the gamest fight. Sharp, the leader of the bunch, disappeared during the fight, as if the earth had swallowed him. Pratt was so badly wounded that he had to be left on the street, but even then one of the women, Mrs. Sharp, ran to him and gave him a loaded revolver. Struggling to position, he fired again until his weapon was emptied.
Chief Ahern turned in a riot call, and all the police in the city that were available appeared there as soon as possible, under commands of captains and lieutenants.
When it was found that Sharp, the ringleader, had escaped, the chief scattered his men in all direction over the city. It is believed that he was wounded. The houseboat was guarded last night.
WOUNDED RESTING EASILY.
At midnight Dr. Eugene King of St. Joseph's hospital said that Sergeant Patrick Clark was in a serious condition, but that he was doing nicely, and stood a good chance to recover. Patrolman Michael Mullane had shown some little improvement during the hour preceding 12 o'clock. Dre. King said that his chances of recovery were very slight.
The condition of J. J. Sulzer at the University hospital was reported by Dr. A. W. McArthur at midnight to be very critical. Dr. McArthur said that one of the bullets was lodged just beneath the skin on the left side of his body, but that he would not attempt to remove it until this morning.. Hope for Mr. Sulzer recovering from his wounds was slight, the surgeon said.
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, Captain Whitsett, children, emergency hospital, Fourth street, guns, Inspector Boyle, Main street, ministers, Missouri river, murder, North end, Police Chief Ahern, violence, women
December 9, 1908
GIRL IS KILLED ON RIVER.
Police Attempted to Sink Skiff in
Which Mrs. Pratt and Chil-
dren Were Escaping.
Information that men and women who had participated in the shooting had escaped and were making their way to a houseboat they had moored in the river was given to the police. Chief of Police Daniel Ahern ordered Captain Walter Whitsett, Lieutenant Al Ryan and Inspector of Detectives Charles Ryan to go to the river with thirty detectives and patrolmen.
When the officers arrived at the river bank, foot of Delaware street, they found one woman, two girls and a boy guarding the boat. Inspector Charles Ryan acted as the spokesman for the police and, climbing down the sand embankment, approached the gang plank. He was stopped by the woman, Mrs. Della Pratt, who threatened to shoot. The woman stood at the head of the scow gesticulating with her left hand as she warned the officers not to come any nearer, while she kept her right hand on a rifle hidden behind the canvas flap of the boat covering. Lining the top of the bank for a block in each direction, people stood watching the police trying to induce the woman way from the boat. She refused to allow anyone to approach the boat nearer than the end of the gang plank.
When ordered to come out on the bank she said she would give herself up if the police would bring Mrs. Melissa Sharp to the river and allow her to talk to her. The police refused to grant her request. Then she asked them to have James Sharp, whom she called "Adam," brought to the house boat.
REFUSED TO SURRENDER.
For forty-five minutes the police argued with the woman and pleaded with her to surrender, but she stubbornly refused. Her two daughters, Lula, 14, and Mary, 11, joined the tirade against the police. While the officers did not want to shoot the woman and two girls, they were afraid to make a run for the boat, as it was believed that some of the men might be in it.
Finally a woman allowed William Engnell, a 15-year-old boy, to leave the boat and the police officials urged him to try to influence the woman to give up. He returned to the boat, but he did not have any success and again left the boat and was placed under arrest.
Untying a skiff which was alongside of the small houseboat, the woman ordered the two girls into it, and taking several revolvers and a rifle, the woman entered it and shoved off toward midstream. As the skiff, which had a canopy over it in the bow, floated out into the current, loud cheers rent the air from many of the persons in the crowd who sympathized with the woman and her kind.
ORDERED NOT TO SHOOT.
Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., and Police Commissioner Andrew E. Gallagher were spectators along the river bank, and had ordered the police not to shoot the woman and children. But it was seen that the woman and children would soon be out of reach, Mayor Crittenden gave the police permission to attempt to shoot holes in the boat in an attempt to endeavor to compel the woman to put back to shore.
Immediately upon receiving the order, Lieutenant Harry E. Stege, armed with a riot gun, shot at the boat and his fire was at once returned by the woman, who used a Winchester. As the bullets from the skiff were aimed at the crowd and were heard to sing as they passed overhead, the crowd wavered and finally broke and ran. The police fired volley after volley at the skiff, but could not tell whether the bullets were having any effect. After using all of the ammunition in the boat, the woman sat down and the girls got under the canopy.
Previously, and during the shooting, the three had been standing up in the boat, singing and waving their arms. It was seen that the boat had passed behind the range of the police guns and a new form of attack had to be planned. Mayor Crittenden ordered several patrolmen to enter a skiff and follow the fanatical woman and her children. He ordered them to stay out of rifle range but to keep them in view and arrest them at the first opportunity.
FOLLOWED BY FERRY BOAT.
But as the crowd of police officers and followers ran east along the river bank they came to the Ella May, a ferry boat, and impressed it into service. The captain of the boat was ordered to follow the floating skiff and near the piers of the old Whiner bridge the Ella May drew alongside of the skiff and its occupants. Inspector Ryan and Captain Whitsett asked them to take the woman out of the water.
The water became so shallow that the ferry boat had to back up, and it was then steered to the regular Harlem landing and the police ran up to where McCoy was standing on the bank with Mrs. Pratt and her daughter, Mary.
The woman informed the officers that her other daughter, Lula, 14 years old, had been shot in the cheek and was in the boat. The little girl's dead body was huddled in the bow of the skiff. It was placed on some bedding found in the skiff and two patromen rowed it back to the foot of Main street, where an ambulance was waiting. The woman and living child were put on the ferry boat and brought to police headquarters. The dead child's body was sent to Wagner's morgue.
PITY FOR THE CHILD.
With her clothes wringing wet from dropping into the water as she attempted to get out of the boat after her mother said they would surrender, Mary Pratt, 11 years old, stood shivering on the sand bank near Harlem. An officer shed his coat and wrapped it around her. Pity was expressed by every police officer for the girl, but none was shown for the woman who was led to the boat with her wet clothes clinging to her body.
They were placed in the engine room while the ferry boat crossed the river, and then taken to the station in the police ambulance. While crossing the river Mary, who is a sweet-faced intelligent little girl, told about the shooting.
"Our faith you know teaches us that we have the right to kill police who interfere with us. We were strangers and did not know we had to have a permit to sing in the street. When the officer came out there and told us to get off the street, then we believed that they were not peaceful and we had a right to shoot them."
"Does your religion teach you that it is right to kill people?" was asked. "No, you be just and understand my position," Mary said. "We are a peace-loving people and believe that this country is free and we have a right to preach on the streets. If the police try to stop us our religion teaches us to believe that they are wrong and should be killed."
"Did you all have guns with you up town, Mary?" was asked by Lieutenant Al Ryan.
"Yes, we all had guns except Dewey and Edna. Papa had given them to us and we always carried them when we went up town to preach," she said. As she told her story she smiled every little while, and the fact that her sister had been killed did not seem to trouble her.
She told the police that the tribe of religious fanatics had drifted down the Missouri river from North Dakota, where they had spent the summer. Two boys named William and Alexander Engnell joined the clan at Two Rivers, S. D. The boys lived at Pelan, Minn. Alexander fell from the faith, Mary said, and left the band before they reached Iowa. William is still with the people and was arrested at the houseboat.
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, Captain Whitsett, children, Delaware street, Fourth street, guns, Harlem, Main street, Mayor Crittenden, ministers, Missouri river, murder, Police Chief Ahern, violence, women
December 9, 1908
Police Search the Craft, but Find
Nothing but Bundles of Papers.
At about 10 o'clock last night the guard on a Stewart-Peck sand dredge suggested a boat floating down the Missouri river. Upon investigation he learned that it was the houseboat once occupied by the Adam God sect. The police were immediately notified and a squad, armed with rifles, was sent to search the boat.
Nothing but papers was found in the houseboat, among them being the clipping from the Winnipeg Free Press which appears in The Journal under another heading. This clipping had been saved by Sharp among other papers of no particular consequence to the police. It is not known how the boat became released from its moorings.
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, Missouri river, newspapers, The Journal
December 9, 1908
THIS STRANGE WOMAN DID
NOT WEEP AT LOSS OF CHILD.
Della Pratt Was More Concerned Over
Whether She Had Offended
Little Feeling seemed to enter the heart of Della Pratt over the loss of her little daughter, Lulu, who was shot by the officers as the fugitives were trying to escape in a skiff, and still less over the condition of her husband, who was seriously wounded at the battle at Fourth and Main streets. Most of her concern seemed to center about whether she had met the wishes of "Adam" in not making a successful resistance against her pursuers. Yet, withal, she seemed far from a heartless woman, and her thin face showed unmistakable traces of something akin to refinement.
Undoubtedly her mind was crazed by the cunning preachments of the man, "Adam," or Sharp, had every member of the band under his thumb. They believed that they should obey his every word implicitly and, though the seemed to have freely accorded him such unquestioned leadership, he was shrewd enough not to demand too much from them, and treated them with a certain brand of consideration.
Her statement to the prosecuting attorney was substantially as follows:
"I was born in Illinois, but raised in Texas. My husband and myself got the light several years ago in Oklahoma and met Adam and Eve and Purcell in that state. We then went around together, preaching in many different parts of the country.
HAD TROUBLE BEFORE.
"On or about September 16 we left Bismarck, N. D., in our house boat, floating down the Missouri river stopping at the various towns and cities along its banks, to preach. We had more or less trouble in most of the places we visited with the local officers.
"My husband and I had five children, four girls and a boy, ranging from 4 to 14 years of age. Three years ago we met James Sharp and Melissa Sharp, or Adam and Eve, in Oklahoma, where they had got the "light." We had already got our 'light,' however, form my husband's brother, before we met the Sharps, whom we believed we should find. When I was about 13 years old I was converted as a Baptist, but later joined the Holiness sect, yet in all things did not believe as they.
"Last year we wintered in Pelan, Minn., where a man named Ed, I think his last name was Fish or Fisher, joined us. We got to Kansas City a seek ago tomorrow. The first night it was too cold to preach, and the second most of the party visited around at several missions here. On the third night we began preaching at the mission at 300 Main street.
"Several months ago Adam told us that we must arm ourselves against the 'serpents' and that we should never submit to being put in jail again. The men folks up to that time had been imprisoned a number of times, and we vowed never to submit again. A young boy named Willie Engnall came into the faith in Minnesota and brought two pistols with him. We had five pistols, two rifles and a double-barrel shotgun. All except what Willie brought with him were bought by the men folks. The men and children took these weapons with them every day when they went into a town to preach.
"The first I knew of the trouble today was when my two little girls, Lena, 12 years old, and Mary, 11, came running down the river bank and cried out to me, 'They're after us.' "
"A little after that a negro policeman came down to the houseboat and threw his gun on me. I got one of the Winchester rifles and told him not to come on the boat. I did not shoot, for I wanted them to bring Adam down to the houseboat, so that he could tell me what to do.
SHE WANTED ADAM.
"I talked to some man who said he was the chief of police, and some citizens. I asked them to bring Adam down there, but they wouldn't do it, so I stayed in the tent on the deck of the houseboat. Later I took the two children and went into Ed's skiff, which was tied to the houseboat, with the intention of getting away from the noise and crowd, and with that plan that I might be able to get to talk with Adam, or, if I could not get him, I wanted to get the advice of Eve.
"When they began to shoot I thought it was just to scare me, and I wouldn't give myself up. Then I saw blood on my child Lulu's ear and knew she had been hit. At that I cried out to Mary, who was rowing the boat, and swung myself over the edge of the skiff into the water so as to protect myself form the bullets and Mary did the same. I was so numb from cold when the policemen came up in their boat that I could not climb into the boat without help."
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, guns, Main street, ministers, Missouri river, oklahoma, police, Texas, women
December 3, 1908
SIXTY YEARS THEY'VE
COL. R. T. VAN HORN AND WIFE
Men Who Helped Him Lay Founda-
tion of This City 50 Years and
More Ago, Gather to
Wish Them Well.
Feasting upon memories of the many years gone by, scores of "during the war" pioneers of Kansas City enjoyed the gathering at the home of Colonel R. T. Van Horn in honor of his sixtieth wedding anniversary, yesterday afternoon.
The large home at Honeywood, Evanston station, was crowded throughout the day and many groups of gray haired men selected quiet corners to pass the gossip of years, and to count grandchildren. stories of the distant past were recounted as if they happened but yesterday. Everybody was so many years young. Nobody was old.
Colonel Van Horn, 84 years young, was the leader in all the reminiscences.
"Don't you remember, George, that little incident on the steamboat Perry, when my wife paid me such a high compliment? he asked of George L. Andrews, one of the old-timers.
"Of course I do," replied Mr. Andrews, and his eyes twinkled merrily at the recollection. "That was forty years ago. You and I were standing on the deck when John Conover called up and held out a knife to us, saying it was for the best looking man."
"And you tried to take it the first thing," put in the colonel. "But that wouldn't do. So we called my wife up to let her decide the matter, and you got the knife."
Then there was a laugh from all, and one story led to another. Things long forgotten were discussed once more and little stories brought long unrecollected incidents to mind, and the gray heads would nod enthusiastically as familiar names were called.
BUT IT WAS GOLD.
"It was in J. Q. Watkins's little brick bank down on First and Main streets that I saw my first gold brick," said C. N. Brooks. "A tall, thin and hungry looking man brought it up to the bank one day and got off the black and white mule he was and handed the gold over to J. Q. It was real gold, too, and how we fellows did stare. The whole street was lined with people who wanted just a glimpse of that brick."
From the little red brick bank the old men turned their attention to the afternoons spent in the rear part of Mike Dively's grocery store at Third and Main streets, and Mr. Diveley was one of them who brought back the happy memories.
Interest in the afternoon's impromptu entertainment was just at its height when the front door opened and Thomas McNabb entered. With McNabb came visions of the prayer meeting night long ago, in the Baptist church, which was located at Missouri avenue and Walnut street. It was in that little church that McNabb was wont to sing hymns every night, and it was the gathering place of all the young couples at that time.
"One night just after prayer meeting was over," began McNabb after he had gone the rounds of handshaking and congratulations, and had joined the group of old-timers. "I remember that a fire broke out in a little store owned by Alex Holland here. I had just got through singing a solo about meeting again, and Frank Foster, the chief of the fire department -- that hand-cart, volunteer brigade; you remember it boys --had been to church. He leapt up and ran to the old fire house at Second and Walnut streets singing 'God Be With You Till We Meet Again.' And so we all joined in and helped to save Alex a few dollars."
TALES OF OTHER FIRES.
Stories of that one fire brought to the mind other conflagrations in which Mr. Foster, now dead, played a prominent part. Some of the old volunteers were present at the reception yesterday afternoon, and many a hearty laugh was had over some amusing adventures. Frank and Walter Withers figured largely in some of the amusing stories.
And so the afternoon was spent by the old men -- once more as boys. Gray hair and wrinkles were forgotten, and no one noticed an occasional trembling of hands or the thinness of voice which had come over many of those present. It was seldom that so many of the old pioneers could get together that they might live over more of the pleasant days when they were young, and the gathering yesterday was immensely enjoyed.
The Old Men's Club went out to Honeywood, as did some of the McPherson post of the G. A. R. And Colonel Van Horn and his wife were the recipients of scores of hearty congratulations. E. S. Jewett and wife have had the pleasure of attending the twenty-fifth, fiftieth and sixtieth anniversaries of Colonel and Mrs. Van Horn, and they said that never before has such a gathering been held upon such an occasion in Kansas City.
Light refreshments were served at the informal reception, consisting of coffee and sandwiches. Colonel Van Horn and his wife were exuberant in their good, old-fashioned hospitality.
Labels: boats, churches, Colonel Van Horn, Fire, First street, history, Main street, marriage, pioneers, reunions, Seniors, Third street
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Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri